Checklist: How do I prepare for next year? – Dr. Michelle Der Bedrosian, Vita Plus

Posted on September 26, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Michelle Der Bedrosian, Vita Plus forage products and dairy technical specialist
While the last thing many producers' want to think about is NEXT YEAR'S harvest, it pays to make a checklist for what you can do now to ensure a successful and prosperous harvest next year.

Silage runoff: What are you really losing? – Dr. Michelle Der Bedrosian, Vita Plus

Posted on July 24, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Michelle Der Bedrosian, Vita Plus forage products and dairy technical specialist
Silage runoff occurs when you ensile silage at higher-than-ideal moisture levels, and runoff is not a good thing.  When you see runoff, your ensiled crop is losing valuable nutrients, along with overall silage quality.

Hail-damaged corn: What can you do?

Posted on July 24, 2018 in Forage Foundations

It's a week before harvest and suddenly a hail storm blows through and wipes out the crop you have worked so hard to grow this season.  What can you do?  Two years ago, City Slickers Farm, LLC found themselves in this situation and salvaged most of their crop with quick, proactive thinking.

Cut it out! Avoid alfalfa quality guesswork – Nathan Hrnicek, Vita Plus

Posted on May 22, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Nathan Hrnicek, Vita Plus forage products specialist
Producers across the Midwest have been asking when they should harvest first-crop alfalfa.  Two great methods to help predict alfalfa quality prior to harvest are the PEAQ stick and scissor clippings.

Regional report: Spring planting and alfalfa progress – Greg Wiener, Jerry Ruetten, Jon Rasmussen and Nathan Hrnicek, Vita Plus

Posted on May 22, 2018 in Forage Foundations

From Iowa to Michigan, consultants report on planting and alfalfa harvest progress.

Early season corn stand evaluation sets expectations for the year – Jon Erickson, Mycogen Seeds

Posted on May 22, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Erickson, Mycogen® Seeds
Once the seed is in the ground, how can you decide a reasonable outlook for the crop in the fall?  Uniform plant emergence can tell you a lot.

Bringing applicators out of hibernation – Jon Urness, Vita Plus

Posted on March 23, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist
In a couple months, we'll be counting on our forage inoculant applicators to apply inoculants reliably and accurately.  How we ease them into service could have a huge impact on how they perform throughout the harvest season.

Ask the expert: Should I use fungicide to control vomitoxin in silage corn? – Dr. Damon Smith, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Posted on January 25, 2018 in Forage Foundations

By Dr. Damon Smith, University of Wisconsin-Madison assistant professor and extension specialist
Treating field corn or grain with fungicide has become a common practice in the Midwest.  More recently, research has been done on its application to corn for silage.  While it may not increase yield, it may help improve feed conversion.

2018 Wisconsin agronomy update meeting recap

Posted on January 25, 2018 in Forage Foundations

Each year, the University of Wisconsin Department of Agronomy and UW-Extension holds Wisconsin Agronomy Update Meetings throughout Wisconsin.  Department professors provide seed hybrid and variety performance, review last year's growing season, and give their recommendations for field crop production. 

Regional harvest reports – Andy Carlson, Jerry Ruetten, Jon Rasmussen and Mark Case, Vita Plus

Posted on November 20, 2017 in Forage Foundations

As harvest season wraps up here in the Midwest, check to see how your area has been doing.

To own or not to own?

Posted on November 20, 2017 in Forage Foundations

Most all dairy producers share similar headaches during harvest season whether they own their own mchinery or hire custom harvesters.  So what is the better option?  Two producers shared their thoughts and insight on the strategies that best fit their business model.

Snaplage ‘recipes’ to minimize milk fat depression – Pat Hoffman, Vita Plus

Posted on September 25, 2017 in Forage Foundations

By Pat Hoffman, Vita Plus dairy technical specialist
This past summer at Vita Plus, we evaluated a new ration formulation sub-model that accounts for the rumen unsaturated fatty acid load (RUFAL) in the ration.  Research has demonstrated that feeding dairy cows excessive levels of RUFALs has a negative effect on milk fat test.  In fact, in our summer project, more than 50 percent of the variance in milk fat percent across herds could be explained by accessible RUFAL concentrations in the diet. 

Regional report: Corn silage harvest – Andy Carlson, Jerry Ruetten, Jon Rasmussen and Mark Case, Vita Plus

Posted on September 25, 2017 in Forage Foundations

Corn silage harvest is in full gear across most of the Midwest!  As you get a few minutes out of the fields, check to see how harvest has been going in your area.

Managing haylage variation in rations (Part 2) – Jon Rasmussen, Vita Plus

Posted on September 25, 2017 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Rasmussen, Vita Plus dairy technology specialist
In part one of this series, I discussed how we can better manage haylage in the field to minimize quality variation.  Now, we will turn our attention to how dairy nutritionists manage haylage variation in the ration.

Managing haylage variation in rations (Part one) – Jon Rasmussen, Vita Plus

Posted on July 25, 2017 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Rasmussen, Vita Plus dairy technology specialist
When it comes to dairy cow diets today, we mostly discuss higher corn silage or byproduct diets and not high-haylage diets.  One of the reasons for this shift has been challenges with variation in haylage quality.  Minimizing this variation is key if you are considering additional haylage in a diet or looking to take full advantage of all the knowledge gained in balancing diets for amino acids, fiber digestibility, and starch utilization.

Ash content and forage quality – Jon Urness, Vita Plus

Posted on July 25, 2017 in Forage Foundations

By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist
We’re picking up a lot of dirt with harvest equipment, which is reflected in forage ash content, according to Dr. Dan Undersander, University of Wisconsin-Madison.  The result of high ash content can mean a loss of up to 350 pounds in milk per ton of hay forage dry matter (DM).